A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

A Crab, a Spider, and the Noisy Stars Above: An Analysis of the Magical Absurdity in Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”

A Crab, a Spider, and the Noisy Stars Above: An Analysis of the Magical Absurdity in Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”

A multitude of literary devices can ultimately sway the interpretation of a literary work in one direction or another. Authors employ symbols, gaps, motifs, and cruxes to either dilute or emphasize a grand—or sometimes not-so-grand—message for the reader to internalize and solicit meaning. The interpretation of these meanings, however, relies on heavy subjectivity from the reader and often varies from one critical analysis to the next, particularly when examining a text from a Formalist perspective. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, exemplifies the imprecise science behind textual analysis by distorting the separations between the supernatural and the conventions of human experience. Marquez bonds the realms of magic and the physical universe in such a manner that both the characters and the reader must struggle to decipher the meanings that circumscribe the juxtaposed reality within the story. From a Formalist perspective, Marquez summons dramatic images of the grotesque, exercises irony and juxtaposition, and challenges the credentials of humanity to make...

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